Higher-Density Culture in Human Embryonic Stem Cells Results in DNA Damage and Genome Instability

Jacobs K., Zambelli F., Mertzanidou A., Smolders I., Geens M., Nguyen H.T., Barbé L., Sermon K., Spits C.
Stem Cell Reports, 2016

In this study, the authors elucidate a direct relationship between culture density and the emergence of DNA damage and genomic alterations in human embryonic stem cells (hESC). Compared with culture on feeder cells, hESCs cultured on laminin-521 (LN521) exhibit reduced susceptibility to DNA damage under suboptimal culture conditions, such as medium acidification during high-density culture. This phenomenon leads to an accumulation of cells in the G1 phase and a halt in the S phase, without concomitant cell death or loss of pluripotency. Remarkably, these DNA effects manifest rapidly, occurring within a single passage.

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